How to allow employees to maintain their skills while remaining connected to the tools of l´entreprise? Through Social Learning. In other words, learning through collaborative tools. For companies, social learning is a tremendous lever for developing collective intelligence. None of them can be missed in the coming years.
However, this is not a revolution in improving training and knowledge acquisition. Social learning was born from the encounter between mature knowledge sharing tools that are integrated into the work environment, and the need for some employees to share their knowledge and be recognized for it.
This can concern the training of new entrants to the company, but also allow all employees to face most of the problems encountered on a daily basis, without having to call the technical and IT team for help.
Today, with the Internet, Wikipedia, YouTube and others, the principle that information is freely accessible and shared is embedded in our brains and mores. Is there a problem? Do you have a question? And the reflex is to ask the question to a search engine. Which makes it quite good for us, but by proposing a host of answers within which it is difficult to sort. Many therefore expect the company to offer the same type of tools and modalities as maintenance or skills upgrading. Social learning clearly meets these expectations.
With social learning, learning is no longer only a top-down process (from trainers to learners), but a more horizontal and collaborative process in which employees interact with each other, with trainers and with experts. In this logic, there are no more learners and knowledgeable people, everyone being considered as a potential knowledgeable person and encouraged to share their knowledge.
In the LMS - Learning Management System - a new generation of tools natively equipped with social functions, the training modules are positioned in collaborative business areas in order to provide a pedagogical context more connected to the working environment than in a general e-learning portal. Learning is thus carried out on a regular basis as part of daily work.
Faced with a new action to be carried out, an employee who is a member of such a space will be able to search for the most appropriate training content, but also reference documents, or even identify the experts capable of answering his questions.
Social learning does not replace classroom training or e-learning training, it just complements it. Let us recall the lessons of the 70/20/10 model. It shows that we learn much more effectively through social interactions and in our daily practices.
According to this model, the learning time is divided as follows: 10% of learning takes place in formal and traditional training (whether face-to-face or distance learning), 20% is built through interaction with family and friends and colleagues, and finally, 70%, the vast majority of learning, is through practice and experience.
Social learning therefore aims to integrate training, information and collaboration within the same platform (a Learning Management System) in order to offer employees a unique learning environment. The ideal LMS is the one that is able to host and aggregate any type of content: existing e-learning courses (Scorm standard), PowerPoint, practical PDF sheets, office documents, tutorials, internal and external videos such as TED or YouTube, quizzes, MOOCs and face-to-face courses, links to press articles, etc.
This content forms the basis of the platform's and the company's "knowledge". They are available in a structured catalogue (particularly by theme) and can be assembled to form "Paths" with precise pedagogical objectives of increasing skills or integrating new employees.
This catalogue of "Knowledge" can obviously be enriched by internal knowledge in order to take advantage of existing knowledge within the company. Any collaborator can thus be authorized to share a "Knowledge", whether it is materialized on a PowerPoint, via a simple wiki text, by a video made on his PC or on his smartphone, or simply located on the Internet. This creation module must be easy to use to promote creative autonomy and ensure its rapid dissemination. The objective is to allow all those who wish to collaborate informally with their peers on content creation, and, if necessary, in a more formal way via a workflow that directs the shared knowledge to a trainer and/or expert capable of helping the collaborator to finalize and validate it before shareing/distribution. In this case, benevolence must be required, subject to failure of the process.
The LMS thus constitutes a single entry point for the employee for all questions related to the acquisition of know-how and knowledge. It is there, and no longer on the Internet, that he now finds the answers to his questions with targeted content, validated by business experts. The company can thus replace the "training effort" with "freedom of learning", by offering access to training and information when the employee needs it and by promoting microlearning for better engagement. The most important benefit of social learning is the commitment it generates among employees in their learning efforts.
The LMS also ensures natural interactions between participants around the content in order to maintain motivation and respond to new societal aspirations for exchange and sharing. Participants can thus comment on the content and highlight those they have particularly appreciated. Each training module has popularity indicators based on like and participation. Finally, this type of platform also offers alerts to relaunch the participant on incomplete "Knowledge" or "Paths", knowledge validation quizzes and also relies heavily on gamification (which transposes the game's mechanisms to boost the device) to ensure better engagement.
Finally, it offers the possibility to capitalize on existing knowledge and avoid losing this capital when retiring, on maternity leave or when replacing employees.
* Survey on collaborative GED conducted in January-February 2018 by Archimag and Jalios among 400 respondents. Download the survey.
Source: Article from our white paper "Why does the future of the company necessarily depend on the collaborative?" p12-15, July 2018, produced in partnership with Archimag